Whitebait Winners

Filmed in 1933 by Pathe cameraman Kenneth Gordon

A British Pathe (c) film dated 1933 about a the fisherman whose ancestors have fished for whitebait for centuries. Some interesting shots.

The film description is as follows:

Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

High angle shot of the town and harbour. “Those who garner in the saucy whitebait must start at the break of day” states the narrator.

M/S of “Mr Young” sitting at the back of a boat wearing a suit and bow tie – he looks a little overdressed for a fishing trip. He is an descendent of ancestors that have fished for whitebait for centuries. The boat passes Southend Pier and other ships on the way to Hole Haven (sp?). Various shots of the fishermen mending nets, dropping anchor, lowering nets, washing decks, hauling in the nets.

“A silvery hoard soon to be turned into real silver” states the narrator as the catch is brought in. Most of the whitebait will end up in London hotels and clubs. The net is emptied into barrels. Jellyfish are scooped out of the barrels and thrown overboard. The whitebait is packed into boxes. The boats head for Canvey Island. C/U of Mr Young as he rows the boxes of whitebait ashore. He assists one of the fishermen to carry one of the boxes ashore.

Comments about this page

  • That’s never Southend pier glistening in the sunlight? Looks more like Canvey Light to me, which they would pass on their way to Hole Haven. And that Mr Young looks familiar. Any relation to a Southend councillor? Great finds, those old Pathé films, Janet. Should be available from local libraries… Robert

    By Robert Hallmann (19/06/2010)
  • Well I saw both the Chapman Lighthouse and Southend Pier Robert. I would assume the pier could be seen on the left as they exited Leigh and turned towards Hole Haven.

    By Janet Penn (19/06/2010)
  • What an interesting bit of Canvey history Film survived good too ,

    By Julia Cornwell (04/12/2021)

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